Fabric Shopping in Downtown Osaka: Toraya

Fabric Shopping in Osaka

Toraya Namba Osaka, originally uploaded by Mee a Bee.

*2012 edit

It's been ages since I went into the city but I am fairly certain that this shop, Toraya, would still be in its old location:

In NAMBA, starting in front of Takashimaya Department store, walk across the road towards a covered arcade called Ebisubashi. Once inside the arcade, walk along a couple of hundred meters and you will find Toraya on the right.

Samples of fabric are displayed on the street (as pictured). In front you'll see the newer collections, available for purchase by the meter. Around the corner there is a large table of ready-to-buy, as-is, remnants. They are already priced.

Inside on the first floor are all the samples of the fabrics available. Rather than display the bolts they have a large piece of the fabric hanging from a ring. On this floor you will find satin, flannel, quilted fabrics, denim, cottons and blend fabrics.

When you want to buy some you need to call an assistant over and order the required amount. (Fabric is usually sold in amounts from 10cm). The assistant will cut two small pieces of fabric from the sample and staple them to two receipts, one for you and one to send up to the cutting floors above. He or she will pop the receipt for the cutting floor into a vacuum charged tube protruding from the ceiling and it is whisked away! Quite a sight.

When your fabric is ready it will arrive via a shute located next to the cash register. Once you have paid for it, it's yours. You need only pay once for all your purchases, they will keep them on the counter until you are ready.

The upper floors are worth a look if you are seeking notions, thread, embroidery floss, sewing patterns. I mainly stick to the first (ground floor). Wool and suiting fabrics are on the second or third floor as are higher priced silks.
Toraya also has a smaller branch located in Kishiwada. It's tiny but still worth popping into if you are in the south Osaka area. I live just two towns along from Kishiwada so please get in touch if you would like a little guided tour of Kishiwada, it's a fun place to visit.
Original post from 2009
Toraya is right across the road from where I used to work so I frequented this store before I had Biggie. I ordered custom-made curtains from there for our old house. Then I sewed all Biggie's bedding from lovely soft Miffy print flannel (he was born in winter).
Email me if you need clearer directions if you are coming to Osaka.


  1. That just makes me *sigh* out loud...

  2. Hi Jacqui, this place looks great!

    Me and my girlfriend are visiting Japan in July. I'm trying to find some great fabric shops in Osaka for her (so she doesn't get mad when I want to spend hours looking through comic shops).

    If you have any suggestions, or better yet directions that would be great!


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